I’ve gotta admit that I was getting pretty slack towards the end of my tenure on Multiple Daily Injections. I wasn’t counting my carbs properly, and I wasn’t being rational with my decisions around insulin dosing. My glucose levels were fluctuating far too much, which was exhausting to say the least. Seeing imperfection all the time sent me down into the dumps. I was often making excuses for spontaneous eating, and there was a lot of insulin stacking going on.
My insulin pump has really helped me to put my head back into my diabetes management. Having it attached to me all the time gives me no excuse not to. The biggest change I have adopted since starting on the pump is that I am actually weighing my food and counting my carbs. While it’s not possible to accurately carb count every single item of food, I think really carefully about it rather than just guessing. When I weighed my Seafood Paella on the weekend for instance, I estimated the proportion of it that was seafood and did not need to be carb counted.
When we had donuts at work last week, I took notice of the jam filling and sugar sprinkled on the top, and estimated about 40g.
Yes, it’s a pain. It means sometimes dirtying a second plate because I forgot to weigh my pasta the first time round. It means I often spend several minutes flicking through the pages of this book (which is a lifesaver) while my dinner goes cold, to find the food I’m looking for.
It means keeping my phone in my pocket at all times, so that I can easily calculate the portion of carbs on my plate. However, carb counting, combined with my vigilant blood glucose testing skills, has really helped me to reap the benefits of the insulin pump.
The pump has taken a huge weight away from the maths and the stress of insulin dosing. I need only enter into the pump the amount of carbohydrates I am consuming and my current blood glucose level, and the pump will calculate my insulin dose for me. Did I eat something and take insulin an hour ago? No worries, the pump factors that into the calculation. Is my blood sugar level out of range? No problem, the pump will factor the appropriate correction into my insulin dose to bring me back down to 6.0.
I’m also guilty of micro managing my blood sugar levels. I love to check where I’m sitting 2 hours after a meal. Quite often I’ve given an emotionally fuelled correction to a stubbornly high blood sugar level, only to end up low an hour later. The pump, however, calculates a correction dose while factoring in the amount of rapid acting insulin still in my system.
Nine times out of ten, the pump’s correction brings me back into range, and I am yet to actually go low from micro managing. I am yet to be tempted to override the pump’s calculations, because it is so accurate.
I always maintained that I didn’t want to get the pump just to be lazy. I didn’t want to get the pump and end up in no better of a place than on injections.
I know that I’m only three weeks in, so it’s still early days.
But I’d like to think that I’ll stick with carb counting for the long haul.